Tag Archives: adaptive architecture

Pop-up seasonal housing: adaptive architecture

tideaways planeBuilding long last durable buildings is one way of approaching green building. Another approach, which was discussed in the TechnoGarden scenario of the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, is designing ephemeral buildings that are there when needed and removed when they are not, allowing other uses of the land.A new adaptive architecture approach to the design of Irish seasonal houses has been developed by MacGabhann Architects. The project called Tideaways is part of Ireland’s contribution the Venice Biennale architecture exhibition. They propose houses and develops that are designed to respond to changing seasons and housing use.

In a Guardian article Vanishing trick for Ireland’s second homes (Sept 6, 2006) Owen Bowcott writes about the project:

The Tideaways designs refined by the MacGabhanns envisage rows of three terraces on the coast located inside existing communities. The first row would float on pontoons and could be towed to a harbour when unoccupied. The row behind would rise and fall, on hydraulic rams, with the tide; in winter they could be sunk down to ground level, disappearing into the landscape.

The third row would be permanent and would provide homes for long-term residents of the village. The houses, timber or metal-framed, would be mainly two bedroom bungalows.

“Our model would ensure there was less impact on the landscape and better planning in villages. We have not built these yet but the Irish government has been very supportive.

“The proliferation of holiday homes has the potential to destroy the very landscape that attracts people in the first place. Despite being in use only 10-20% of the year, these buildings are visible 100% of the time.”

Teddy Cruz – What adaptive architecture can learn from Shantytowns

From Mixed Feelings Teddy Cruz a California architecture, who has focussed on what architecture can be learnt from informal settlements is profiled in an article Border-town muse: An architect finds a model in Tijuana from the March 13 International Herald Tribune.

The IHT article writes:

As Tijuana has expanded into the hilly terrain to the east, squatters have fashioned an elaborate system of retaining walls out of used tires packed with earth. The houses jostling on the incline are constructed out of concrete blocks, sheets of corrugated metal, used garage doors and discarded packing crates – much of it brought down by local contractors and wholesalers from across the border (slideshow in NY Times).

Once such a settlement is completed, it is protected from demolition under Mexican law – and the government is eventually obliged to provide plumbing, electricity and roads to serve it. In Cruz’s view, the process is in some ways a far more flexible and democratic form of urban development than is the norm elsewhere.
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